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Philippine, Malaysia to cooperate on combating terror groups

Reporter: Rian Maelzer 丨 CCTV.com

11-11-2016 02:19 BJT

President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, is making his first official visit to Malaysia. Talks between the two countries focused on ways to combat threats from militant groups. Extremists from the southern Philippines, especially Abu Sayyaf, have been responsible for numerous incidents of piracy and kidnappings in waters between the two countries.

Malaysia's prime minister Najib Razak and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte couldn’t be more different. One is the UK-educated son of a former prime minister, the other an outspoken one-time political outsider. But the two seem to be on the same page on a lot of issues right now.

Both have moved to greatly strengthen economic ties with China during recent visits to that country.

Duterte now seems to share Malaysia’s belief in a non-confrontational approach to resolving the South China Sea territorial disputes.

And both are keen to crush the Abu Sayyaf militants and other groups that have been menacing the waters between the two countries.

Step one has been to for Malaysia to agree to work with the Philippines and Indonesia to create with they call a “hot pursuit” procedure.

"If we are chasing the bad guys for example and we reach the international boundary with the Philippines, if we were to stop, the bad guys would get away so we must continue pursuing and if possible interdict them. But the moment we reach the maritime boundary with the Philippines we are to inform the Philippine Navy," Razak said.

On his arrival Wednesday evening, Duterte met with an enthusiastic crowd of Filipinos who work in Malaysia, mostly as domestic helpers….and was quick to congratulate Donald Trump on his victory in the US elections.

"Long live, Mr. Trump! We both curse for the slightest reason. We are alike," Duterte said.

Najib too sent his congratulations and said he was confident the US would continue to collarborate with Malaysia in the fight against violent extremism.

But Najib and Malaysia will have deep concerns about the possible economic impact of a Trump presidency. Malaysia spent years negotiationing and the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, a deal that Trump has said he staunchly opposes.

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